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Where Everybody Knows Your Name


Written by Helena Pearce Remember the theme song from the sitcom “Cheers”? The chorus goes: Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came. You want to be where you can see our troubles are all the same. You want to be where everybody knows your name.” Wouldn’t it be great if everyone felt like that when they entered a church?


I was 6-years-old when we moved to the United States. My dad was a graduate student who soon was in search of a tenure-track teaching position. This meant that we moved every couple of years, and that led us across multiple states where I attended two elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. Moving to new towns (and schools) was really tough during my tween and teen years, when life already seemed very complicated - but having to make new friends in small towns, where everyone seemed to already know each other, was especially tough.


Those early experiences have given me a heart for helping people feel welcome in new places. Meeting new people had been an excruciating experience when I was young, but with all of that “practice”, I now love meeting new people. And I love connecting people to each other. 


A couple of years ago, my husband Kevin and I made the difficult decision to leave our church home of over 30 years. Looking for a new church home was a little daunting; Kevin and I had both experienced something really special when we first started attending our previous church, and we wondered if we’d ever experience something like that again.


We visited a total of 11 churches in the Durham/Chapel Hill area during the fall of 2021 through the fall of 2022, and Waypoint was one of the last churches that we visited. After our initial visit to Waypoint, we continued to visit more churches, but something about Waypoint pulled us back and kept pulling us back. It felt like home and family in a ridiculously short period of time. And it felt like Jesus. I remember sitting in worship one Sunday with my eyes closed and just feeling like Jesus was all around me.


Waypoint’s welcoming spirit is infectious - at my previous church, introducing myself to visitors sometimes felt awkward and formal. But at Waypoint, it feels so natural to talk with total strangers and welcome them. We are still getting to know folks here, but even people whom we’ve met only briefly feel like family.


I’m now on Waypoint’s Welcome team, and I love getting to greet folks on Sunday mornings. I serve at the 11am service and arriving at church a little early also gives me the opportunity to see and chat with friends from the 9am service as they’re leaving. 


I’m so thankful that the Lord led us to Waypoint. It’s given me that “something” that I was looking for: God’s love and warm embrace through His people here.


If you are interested in serving on the Welcome team contact Ben@waypointrdu.com.

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